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Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things, pour into our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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SERMON VIII.

THE LOVE OF GOD.

DEUT. vi. 5.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

In the conclusion of my last discourse I briefly enumerated the reasons which the Scriptures furnish, why we should love God. I propose, on the present occasion, to enlarge a little upon these reasons; secondly to show you

what will be the natural effects of that love, sincerely entertained.

First, what are the considerations that should excite us to the love of God.

My brethren, I address you of course as Christians, not as persons who are totally ignorant of the nature and dealings of God, as the

136

THE LOVE OF GOD.

138

Christ, such as it is now, where Christiani
not yet imparted light and knowledge.

Let me now bring you back to the
which gave rise to these observations
asserted the excellence of that first
commandment, which makes love
motive of man's obedience to Hir
you all ready to allow the truth
that affection is a much strong
thority, than power or terror;

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ancient world
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possible some might object,
an immense distance and a
God and man, that His natu
comprehension, that we
Jere for an invisible and
because we are comma
KOTOU out of acqua
cui ni a knowledge of
tode is: kindness
iz is this. I

The natural that exists in cou Christianity have

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to allow the truth?
1 is a much strong

where Chisis, why we should love God, if you

allow and knowledge 'th of the book from whence my reasons

I can now say, because He has made these observatiok nown to us, as a Being of perfect Good

the author of every good thing that we which makes lor-ope for. I can now answer, because s obedience to Hibat He is our Father, who created us

solely that we might be happy; our whọ in that character, and by that jestowed upon us a blessing beyond

and all expression great, having in power or terror;

even by the sacrifice nse distance and disave us,

who apply to him, for the enjoyi man, that His naturam Sanctifier, always ready to

bing over us for our good ; our or an invisible and un dess which He offers; our Guar

hand to support us, if we throw the world, the sinful inclina

nature, and the shares and Tof a knowledge of som" Protection, against the power

short, our greatest and best rieks, the objection woulus spirit, who studies to ruin

oved us,” and who has faith

if we will love Him in reus happy for ever, and bed things as “

eye hath not heart conceived." For the with me sufficiently, when to resume the subject.

ome might object

, ! hension, that we can

use we are commandhing t grow out of acquainta

ratitude for kindness fel 122 rply to this, I said

4 I could not give for being whom w amel, that the beatbi

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the fancies and the idols which they had set up for their deities ; they worshipped cruel gods, and capricious gods, and libidinous gods, and covetous gods, gods quarrelling and contending for power among themselves, gods who were supposed to be slaves to every fierce and vile passion that infests the heart of man, gods in the shape of birds, and beasts, and fish, and reptiles, and vegetables, nay gods of wood, and gods of stone, that their own hands had made. You ask, were all men carried away by these deplorable superstitions ? Truly, some few were more wise, and thought there must be a supreme Being, more worthy of adoration than those whom the generality blindly worshipped ; but the wisest were like the philosopher of whom I spoke before, they knew nothing about the matter; and if they erected an altar, they could dedicate it only " to the unknown God.” Modern unbelievers talk to us of the sufficiency of natural religion, without the gospel; but what natural religion really is, is to be learnt from the heathens of the ancient world, and in the present day; and a monstrous and most abominable system it is and

ever was.

The natural religion, as it is falsely called, that exists in countries, where the doctrines of Christianity have been spread abroad, owes all

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